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Hand Hygiene Essay

2883 words - 12 pages

Running Header: HAND HYGIENE PAGE 1 HAND HYGIENE PAGE 2
IntroductionAccording to Marquis and Huston (2009, p.69), "Ethics is described as a system of moral conduct and principles that guide a person's action in regard to right and wrong and in regard to oneself and society at large." For this quality and safety "Workarounds" ethical paper, hand hygiene policy for Mercy General Hospital will be evaluated and how the practice is implemented in the clinical setting.In conformity with Mercy General Hospital's policy on hand hygiene, (2006, p.2) "hand washing has been recognized as the single most important measure for preventing of healthcare-associated infections." In order to practice ethics and patient safety, health care professionals cannot do workarounds on hand hygiene.Part 1 (A)Hand hygiene refers to antiseptic hand wash, antiseptic hand rub, or surgical hand antisepsis (Mercy General Hospital, 2006). Guidelines indicate clinical staff should wash their hands with plain soap or antimicrobial soap and water when: hands are visibly dirty or contaminated with transient microorganisms or with blood or other body fluids, before eating, after using the bathroom, and after caring for patients with clostridium difficile (Mercy General Hospital).For routinely decontaminating hands that are not visibly soiled the hospital recommends using an alcohol-based rub (Mercy General Hospital, 2006). Indications: Immediately before direct contact with patients, immediately before donning gloves when inserting a central intravascular catheter, immediately before inserting indwelling urinary catheters, peripheral vascular catheters, or other invasive devices, after direct contact with a patient's skin, after contact with body fluids; mucus membranes, non-intact skin, and wound dressings if hands are not visibly soiled. Hand hygiene is also needed when moving from a contaminated body site to a clean body site during patient care, after contact with inanimate objects in the immediate vicinity of the patient, and after removing gloves (Mercy General Hospital).When washing hands with soap and water first get hands wet with warm water, then apply a dime-sized amount of soap to palm of hand after rubbing hands together and covering all surfaces of hands and fingers for 15 seconds, rinse with warm water and dry thoroughly with a paper towel (Mercy General Hospital, 2006).The policy also reviews surgical hand antisepsis and skin care products, and other aspects of hand hygiene. For instance; clinical staff cannot wear artificial fingernails or extenders when having direct contact with patients, clinical staff must keep nail tips clean and less than ¼ inch long. Gloves must be worn by health care staff when in contact with blood or other potentially infectious materials such as mucous membranes and non-intact skin. One must remove gloves after caring for a patient and change gloves between patients and practice hand hygiene prior to donning new gloves, staff must...

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